by Paul Stewart and Chr Riddell
We are often asked to recommend books for children's reading groups and we feel that any of The Edge Chronicles would be an excellent choice and suitable for a wide age range.
This series of books tells the story of a fantastic place - The Edge. I consulted some experts - my children, who have maintained a fascination with these strange and quirky tales, which have captured their imagination and enthusiasm more than any other contemporary writing. These are very important books for children.
2004 Smarties Prize winners, Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, have perfected a team - Paul's wonderfully evocative writing matched by Chris's meticulous and mind-boggling line drawings. Together they have created a fantastic world - The Edge - whose geography, population and existence are chronicled over a long period of time and several books. Beginning with Beyond The Deepwoods, key character, Twig, discovers he has been adopted and begins a quest to find his father. The magical, organic Deepwoods provide the backdrop, contrasting with the complex and scholarly urban landscape of Sanctaphrax, the floating city that becomes the focus in later books. Eventually Twig becomes a Sky Pirate and his quest changes to save the city from the catastrophic impending Mother Storm.
My children particularly recommend Curse of The Gloamglozer, which has all the quintessential and successful elements of the series. It incorporates historical depth, powerful allegory of good and evil and unites two key elements: Deepwoods creatures and stone comb heart of the city. Above all it introduces the wonderful and determined heroine Maris, particularly admired by my daughters for her intelligent resourcefulness and bravery in taking on the dark forces.
The Edge Chronicles contain a wealth of amazing characters, transporting fantasy and brilliant descriptions. These books are totally absorbing, and unput-downable. Here children can join the characters having extraordinary adventures through other worlds, and whatever may be going on around them, these books provide a constant and recurrent resource for escape. What more could you ask of children's fiction?